Thursday, 2 June 2011

Mesh and Cash

Well, we have now heard that mesh will start to be 'rolled out' on the SL grid from July/August. As the basic advice from top entrepreneurs is to get your product out into the market even before it works, we can expect a long series of complaints and fixes and etc etc so that September/October might be more realistic.

I was reading one of Maria's posts on mesh and followed a link to TurboSquid and searched trees there... one was $350, and far better than anything I could ever imagine making myself. It is 1.1 million polygons. Blender will make mesh but it looks increasingly like Maya and 3dsMax users will be the ones providing the best mesh.

Maya and 3dsMax cost around 3000$+ to it's little wonder than no tree on TurboSquid costs less than 7800 L$, the top one mentioned above being ca. 80,000L$....(although, in reality, it would maybe be the only tree you could plant on a sim before crashing the whole grid...and could take a month to rezzz, I guess...) ...oh, by comparison, I don't think I've ever charged more than 2000L$, 500 -900 being my normal pricing.

I have complained before about the chickenfeed pricing of objects for sale in SL (Iwz the same) and the prices put on Art by the makers, similarly the wages offered by people who think that, because you are in VW's, you are prepared to work for silly money. So, it will be interesting to see if the costs associated with producing the top mesh content will actually make this less of a peanut economy, more related to RL pricing.... or will people simply not buy mesh??

I once paid 3300L$ for hair, and I was feeling very wealthy at the time.... thats probably the top item I ever bought.

Maybe the TechnoCommunists will make some free mesh trees and undermine the new mesh economy ...( they are a bugger to make with Google Sketch-Up)...

Now, as I've been busy I haven't kept you up to date with the latest SL blunders.... well.. it could be considered that the worst thing LL could do is to change their system of International Payment from one that works to one that doesn't work.... and I would have to agree that that is pretty bad....but...Client Data Leaks??....

...according to Inara Pey there are concerns about privacy and credit cards.... the possibility that DragonFish (the company now dealing, or nearly dealing, with International Payment), may have been compromised. It's only natural that such concerns come to the fore after Sony's spectacular breaches of recent weeks.

Now, her main point is that FJ Lined brushed aside the concerns, basically implying that it's down to spyware on the affected users computer, and behaving exactly like Tateru describes in a post entitled "you've got to take our word for it"... or to paraphrase "trust me, I'm an expert". The idea that any top company could have leaky security must be stamped out immediately it shows it's ugly head or a PR disaster could ensue.

The thing is, after having politicians lie to us for decades, and seeing the scandalous behaviour of top companies, saying "you can trust us"...isn't really good enough.

....and the way Inara has been attacked for suggesting such a thing... as Miso says "I'm only here for the LOLZ"...

The thing is...I have, genuinely, been getting a lot more spam recently.....and Indigo Mertel, who is a very reliable person (my email accounts are all a bit mixed up) I trust a lot.... and she's posted on the forum about this problem

well, it will, no doubt, all blow over...but a good PR machine could have helped...

What a messh. (sorry).



  1. The problem with digital content -- and why the price of it tends to trend toward zero over time -- is that the first copy costs time and money to make. But then all subsequent copies are free to produce.

    So even a designer based in a Western country, paying himself a lot of money for his time, will -- with a good product and decent sales strategy -- eventually sell enough product to pay himself what he wants to. After that, he can give away all subsequent items for free in order to promote his other products, or to drive competitors out of business.

    That's one side of the problem. The other pricing challenge is that you're competing against talented amateurs who get their pay from the joy of the work itself, and from the fun of seeing other people using their work.

    Of course, the same holds true for all creative works. You'd have to pay through the nose to get Lady Gaga at your party, or you could turn on the radio and get her songs for free -- or get your brother's band in to perform in return for beer.

  2. The programs may cost tons of money, but you have to consider a couple of things. One, what Maria said above. Another is that they may be using a pirated copy of the software, which wouldn't cost them a dime. Thirdly, they could price themselves right out of the market.

    The concrete economy is still very much depressed and it's reflected very much in virtual economies. Whole stores are closing up; some are keeping a presences on the marketplace, yet others are simply closing or moving to other grids. Venues which depend on contributions to survive are likewise closing as money dries up.

    There will be few, if any, on SL and other virtual worlds who will be able to afford one tree that costs $7800L - not to mention that most people would be aghast to pay that much, no matter how good the tree. A mesh artist would be better off pricing according to the economy and making up their "difference" via volume sales.


  3. God! inWorldz haz chicken phlox an SL is a mess(h) What to do?<.<

  4. Thank you for the vote of confidence, Soror. For fairness, I have to point out that I was partly wrong with the post you linked to. In the eagerness of finding evidence that something was amiss I forgot to consider that tracking someone's nationality is fairly easy with the right tools when knowing a domain.

    As for a data leak, I try to have an objective view on the matter. FJ's attempt to dismiss the problem as "not our problem" may have not been the best but I will not bash the guy because of it. Quite frankly, I can understand the reaction as, lacking real evidence, it is typical of IT people to react as he did. Hey, I have done it several times myself, IT is a tough business :)

    In my opinion, the best thing to do in this case is to help Linden Lab to determine what has happened by bringing evidence that something *has happened*. I think that the alleged data leak is not from Linden Lab. A number of facts seem to lead that this problem may come from the outsourced payement company Linden Lab relies on, and the intent of my posts is to offer a contribution with some evidence to help Linden Lab determine what the problem is.

    As for "mesh and cash", I also tend to agree that mesh won't rock the SL market. I won't be surprised if mesh-based content will be priced a little more than other content, but this will be justified by the higher quality. But other than a slight price increase content producres will have to price their items for what the market can afford.